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Canadian Thanksgiving in Montreal: Where and what to eat

withabandon Jul 30, 2012 10:01 PM

Hello,

My daughter is a McGill student living in the Ghetto. I'm going to visit her over your Thanksgiving weekend this fall. We're from the US and since she never comes home for our Thanksgiving I thought we might do something traditionally Canadian, since that is when I'll be there.

So, are there traditional foods for Thanksgiving? Are there any nice restaurants that serve whatever traditional fare might be? Is Monday the day to celebrate-- or is it traditional to do so on any day over the weekend?

I'd love recommendations in general for some interesting places to eat. We are foodies and enjoy the full range of places-- from fine dining to hole in the wall type places. We've eaten in a couple of really good places in Old Montreal and one in Little Italy on other visits, We are open to trying new places. I'd like to take her one or two places she can't afford on her student budget.

I look forward to your replies!

Merci!

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    eatwell RE: withabandon Jul 31, 2012 03:35 AM

    Any day over the weekend is fine to celebrate Thanksgiving. Turkey and all the "trimmings," just like yours is traditional. As far as restaurants someone else may help, we always like to prepare our own at home. Many places will be closed, too. Usually I think, some hotels prepare the traditional dinner.

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      Maximilien RE: withabandon Jul 31, 2012 04:05 AM

      After searching for "thanksgiving", there was not real answer, there might be a few restaurants that will do a special meal, but I would not count on it.

      For your fix, have a look at "La Binnerie Mont-Royal", it serves traditional québec food, they might have turkey and all the trimmings every day of the year.

      The restaurant Au Pied de Cochon is opening their "Cabane à Sucre" this fall to celebrate apples; you could look into that (they are probably fully booked, but who knows).

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        mangoannie RE: withabandon Jul 31, 2012 05:52 PM

        maybe check with sofitel or ritz to see if they will put on thanksgiving dinner

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          catroast RE: withabandon Jul 31, 2012 06:25 PM

          For many Montrealers, Thanksgiving is a day off. For those celebrating, it is similar to the American tradition - minus the pilgrims and the absurdly cheap grocery store turkey prices. Generally this question comes up once per year and I don't think it has ever received a satisfactory response. Try searching for Thansgiving in case I missed something...

          1. Peaches to Poutine RE: withabandon Jul 31, 2012 06:45 PM

            As an American living in Quebec, honestly your best bet for a Canadian Thanksgiving dinner is to make friends and get yourself invited to THEIR T'Day dinner. As catroast says, that is a holiday for most folks. Barring my initial suggestion, find a lovely restaurant you all would like to go to and aim for that either the day before or the day after the holiday.

            Best of luck!

            1. 514eats RE: withabandon Aug 1, 2012 10:58 AM

              These are the places to splurge in town:

              Bice: Italian, downtown
              Cafe Ferreira: Portuguese, downtown
              Gibby's: steakhouse, Old-Montreal
              Joe Beef: market, Little Burgundy
              Kaizen: Japanese, Westmount
              Milos: Greek, Outremont
              Moishes: steakhouse, The Main
              PARK Restaurant: Japanese, Westmount (A MUST, best kept secret if you're adventurous)

              2 Replies
              1. re: 514eats
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                eatwell RE: 514eats Aug 1, 2012 11:48 AM

                Really!? All of the above serve a Thanksgiving Dinner! The enquiry was about Thanksgiving Weekend, don't think any of the above offer a traditional Canadian Thanksgiving Dinner. Great for other times, though. Best to cook a turkey and all the trimmings at "home."

                1. re: eatwell
                  514eats RE: eatwell Aug 2, 2012 07:03 AM

                  No, they definitely don't do anything traditional or special for Thanksgiving. In your first post you said "I'd love recommendations in general for some interesting places to eat" so I was giving you "general" recommendations.

                  The only place I can think of that might actually do a Thanksgiving thingy is Vieux-Port Steakhouse. Not a great place, but you can give it a shot.

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                Plateaumaman RE: withabandon Aug 1, 2012 01:07 PM

                In my experience, English Canadians are more likely to celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey etc. than French Canadians, which is why it isn't obvious to find a turkey celebration at a restaurant in the city. And as others have said, it tends to be celebrated at home. But it is a fantastic time to go to Jean Talon market and enjoy the harvest, plus it might be possible to pick up a turkey there.

                And here's a list from Tourisme Montreal of restaurants that do serve specials (how organized are they?):

                http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/blog...

                9 Replies
                1. re: Plateaumaman
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                  eatwell RE: Plateaumaman Aug 2, 2012 10:08 AM

                  Many French Canadians do celebrate Thanksgiving! I live in St. Lazare and was severely reprimanded by some of the "locals," when I suggested otherwise! I was told that I was probably speaking to the "snobs" in Montreal who wouldn't go near a turkey dinner, but, "in the countryside, we have big celebrations" Be that as it may, turkey for Thanksgiving is readily available in Montreal. I always buy a fresh turkey at Fernando's, 106 Roy E.(514) 843-6652, in Montreal.

                  1. re: eatwell
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                    Plateaumaman RE: eatwell Aug 2, 2012 11:58 AM

                    I get reprimanded by family in Quebec City who find it odd that I always want to roast a turkey. And French Canadian friends in Montreal seem to treat it a a holiday but without a bird. I guess sweeping generalizations are pointless on all sides. Something is up in St. Lazare, good to know. I'm celebrating at the Au Pied du Cochon sugar shack this autumn, best of both worlds!

                    1. re: eatwell
                      SnackHappy RE: eatwell Aug 2, 2012 12:30 PM

                      St-Lazarre isn't exactly quebecois central. I'm sure your "french-canadian" friends are more bi-cultural than the average bear. I've personally never met a quebecois who celebrates Thanksgiving Canadian or otherwise. It's just a day off for us like Canada Day.

                      1. re: SnackHappy
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                        Plateaumaman RE: SnackHappy Aug 2, 2012 05:22 PM

                        I think we're agreeing - my souche friends don't eat turkey, is what I'm saying. Why should they be bi-cultural? Oh, maybe I should have said my in-laws in Quebec City ...?

                        1. re: Plateaumaman
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                          mangoannie RE: Plateaumaman Aug 2, 2012 05:57 PM

                          I think Anglo Montrealers celebrate thanksgiving... it may be difficult to find restos though serving such a meal on the holiday as staff will be on vacation. Maybe some inns like Willow Inn might be worth a call
                          http://www.willowplaceinn.com/indexen...

                          1. re: mangoannie
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                            catroast RE: mangoannie Aug 2, 2012 07:38 PM

                            many anglo montrealers do but since many are also jewish a large proportion do not since our holidays are shortly before.

                        2. re: SnackHappy
                          Peaches to Poutine RE: SnackHappy Aug 3, 2012 04:28 AM

                          To call Thanksgiving "bi-cultural" smacks of awesome hilarity! I don't suppose it's just Anglos though or else the grocery stores wouldn't jampacked with all sorts of "Action des Grace/Thanksgiving" frippery. Surely the small population of them couldn't have a hold on ALL the grocery chains. :)

                          1. re: Peaches to Poutine
                            SnackHappy RE: Peaches to Poutine Aug 3, 2012 05:54 AM

                            Perhaps the grocery chains are full of Thanksgiving frippery where you live, but you live in a traditionally English part of the province. There are indeed more promotions in supermarkets than back in the day, but that's just supermarket chains trying to get us to spend more money. It's not a traditional holiday with Francophones.

                            And I didn't say the holiday was "bi-cultural", I said the people celebrating it were. As in people who share both Francophone and Anglophone Quebec culture.

                            I've been roasting a Thanksgiving Turkey for the last three years, but I do it for my ROC friends and because I like both turkey and festive dinners. Before that I had never even had turkey outside the Christmas season or any sort of Thanksgiving meal.

                            1. re: SnackHappy
                              Peaches to Poutine RE: SnackHappy Aug 4, 2012 04:37 AM

                              Um, Sherbrooke is not very English. Not at all. And I don't live in one of the all anglophone enclaves that dot the Townships because my husband (an transplanted Ontarian here for nearly 20 years) specifically did not want that.

                              In any case, as a couple with no children, we don't celebrate it anyway. We only go to a T-day dinner if other people invite us. We are in no way inclined to make a large meal like that on our own. I think we are thankful that both our families live so far away!

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                      ladymcbet RE: withabandon Aug 3, 2012 01:28 PM

                      Le Montrealais Restaurant in the Queen Elizabeth Hotel downtown always prepared very traditional Thanksgiving meal. Try checking there. Here's the website.
                      http://www.fairmont.com/queen-elizabe...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ladymcbet
                        superbossmom RE: ladymcbet Aug 4, 2012 05:32 AM

                        I would enquire at the Willow Inn in Hudson regarding a traditional turkey dinner.

                      2. Ruthie789 RE: withabandon Aug 9, 2012 04:16 PM

                        Turkey is what is on the menu at my house. Served with potatoes, stuffing and vegetables. Our Thanksgiving is not as intense as the American one, but it is a special weekend. Would you go to the Laurentians for lunch, you would have to book in advance, but am sure you could find a hotel serving lunch and turkey on the Sunday. We had a turkey meal at LaSapiniere in the Laurentians years ago, still remember it. Laurentians outside Montreal, in the countryside. As well it is a lovely time of year to see the trees changing colours.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Ruthie789
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                          duchesse RE: Ruthie789 Aug 10, 2012 04:51 AM

                          I'm an American married to a French Canadian. Our respective traditions aside, I'd not look hard for a turkey and trimmings US-style dinner- just go to a place that does great meats: Joe Beef will likely make a nod to the holiday, or Au Pied de Cochon. Isn't the point to gather around a bountiful, convivial table, even if there is no cranberry sauce?

                          1. re: duchesse
                            Ruthie789 RE: duchesse Aug 10, 2012 05:16 AM

                            Yes it is the point. I just mentioned the difference because I spent Thanksgivng one year with my mother's family in Boston. Could not believe the traditions and meal. I am also married to a French Canadian. Food and convivality are so important to my husband's family. Agreed Montreal area is fine for the celebration. Laurentians could be an outing for them to see change of season.

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                          ladymcbet RE: withabandon Aug 10, 2012 06:12 AM

                          As well as the Montrealais Restaurant in the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, a traditional Thanksgiving Turkey dinner is also put on by the Globe Restaurant. The Globe would be a bit more expensive, but has a trendier, more lively atmosphere. Most hotel dining rooms provide a Thanksgiving meal for out-of-towners. THe Ritz Carlton always did.Again, the Ritz would be the most expensive of the 3. But they have a new chef/restaurant now, so you should check. In any case, you would want to reserve for dinner wherever you end up going.

                          http://www.ritzmontreal.com/en/
                          http://www.restaurantglobe.com/
                          http://www.fairmont.com/queen-elizabe...

                          1. Ruthie789 RE: withabandon Oct 7, 2012 05:19 PM

                            Hello withabandon: Happy Canadian Thanksgiving where did you end up going?

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Ruthie789
                              withabandon RE: Ruthie789 Nov 17, 2012 02:36 PM

                              Thanks for asking. And thanks to all who replied. As always, it's interesting reading the sort of related debates that inevitably arise on Chow. We went to the Globe on Sunday. They had a wonderful selection of really interesting dishes, as well as a traditional thanksgiving dinner. We got one interesting entry-- the lamb ragout with either pasta or gnocchi ( don't remember which). It was wonderful. We also got one turkey entree that came with mashed yams and collard greens. The turkey was deep fried, and all really delicious. We had the cheese plate. and then something sweet for dessert. They had some really nice wines that paired well with our meal. We shared everything.

                              1. re: withabandon
                                Ruthie789 RE: withabandon Nov 17, 2012 06:20 PM

                                Fried turkey sounds interesting. Very nice to have a pairing with a meal, glad you enjoyed your family dinner.

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                              catroast RE: withabandon Oct 7, 2012 10:12 PM

                              Although it is officially too late, perhaps somebody will benefit from this post next year.

                              Biarritz had its 2nd annual prix fixe thanksgiving dinner tonight

                              http://www.facebook.com/events/497487...

                              urkey
                              Stuffing
                              Mashed potatoes
                              Brussels sprouts
                              Dessert
                              -$35-

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